Brian Kelly reportedly sent a message to Notre Dame players via the team’s system and asked players to show up in the morning so he could talk with them face-to-face about his decision to leave.
“Men …” the message began, “Let me first apologize for the late night text and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame. I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke later today and I am sorry you found out through social media or news reports.
“I will have more to share when we meet tomorrow at 7 a.m. but for now, just know they my love for you is limitless and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. Our program is elite because of your hard work and commitment and I know that will continue. I will share more in the morning when we meet. Again, my sincere apologies for not being able to be the one to share the news directly with you.”
Kelly, 60, coached at Central Michigan and Cincinnati before he left the Bearcats for the Notre Dame opening. Kelly replaced Charlie Weis before the start of the 2010 season and helped get Notre Dame back to prominence.
In 2012, Notre Dame got to the BCS Championship only to lose to Alabama 42-14. Kelly and Notre Dame would reach the College Football Playoff twice but fail to win in either appearance.
Notre Dame was also hit with NCAA penalties. In 2014, the school discovered that an athletic trainer was providing impermissible benefits. The school self-reported the violation, and the NCAA determined the school needed to vacate the 2012 and 2013 victories.
Kelly led the school to nine bowl games during his tenure only missing out during the 2016 season after a 4-8 record. The team is 11-1 in 2021 with a major bowl game waiting.
He is 113-40 all-time at Notre Dame and has the most wins for a coach in school history.